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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

To my American friends and family, I trust you all will have a lovely Thanksgiving, shared with family and friends (and the occasional welcomed stranger) enjoying a wonderful traditional meal of a rich assortment of dishes.

I have written often of how much I enjoyed Thanksgiving during the years I lived in the United States. I was readily taken in and embraced by friends on this most American celebration. I was never disappointed with the company or the food.

One small custom I retain for myself is that each year I read of the early Pilgrim's Thanksgiving in Bradford's Journal. I think about the generosty of the native peoples who brought food and joined them on this occasion. If it had not been for Massasoit and his people, the Pilgrims may not have survived those first couple of Winters. Unfortunately, this part of the founding myth was not carried forward in the history between the European settlers and the native Americans.

To appreciate the significance of Thanksgiving in American history I recommend the work done by Mr. and Mrs. Deetz. and the Plymouth Colony Archives Project.

Click on image to enlarge

There is no lack of Thanksgiving items in American literature, not to mention the countless sermons you can find on the meaning of Thanksgiving. Here is the last half of a poem by Horatio Alger, "Grand'ther's Baldwin's Thanksgiving. If you would like to read it all go here.

. . . .

When the autumn work is over, and the harvest gathered in,
Once again the old house echoes to a long unwonted din.

Logs of hickory blaze and crackle in the fireplace huge anti high,
Curling wreaths of smoke mount upward to the gray November sky.

Ruddy lads and smiling lasses, just let loose from schooldom's cares,
Patter, patter, race and clatter, up and down the great hall stairs.

All the boys shall hold high revel; all the girls shall have their way,-
That's the law at Grand'ther Baldwin's upon each Thanksgiving Day.

From from the parlor's sacred precincts, hark! a madder uproar yet;
Roguish Charlie's playing stage-coach, and the stage-coach has upset!

Joe, black-eyed and laughter-loving, Grand'ther's specs his nose across,
Gravely winks at brother Willie, who is gayly playing horse.

Grandma's face is fairly radiant; Grand'ther knows not how to frown,
though the children, in their frolic, turn the old house upside down.

For the boys may hold high revel, and the girls must have their way;
That's the law at Grand'ther Baldwin's upon each Thanksgiving Day.

But the dinner--ah! the dinner--words are feeble to portray
What a culinary triumph is achieved Thanksgiving Day!

Fairly groans the board with dainties, but the turkey rules the roast,
Aldermanic at the outset, at the last a fleshless ghost.

Then the richness of the pudding, and the flavor of the pie,
When you've dined at Grandma Baldwin's you will know as well as I.

When, at length, the feast was ended, Grand'ther Baldwin bent his head,
And, amid the solemn silence, with a reverent voice, he said:--

"Now unto God, the Gracious One, we thanks and homage pay,
Who guardeth us, and guideth us, and loveth us always! "

He scatters blessings in our paths, He giveth us increase,
He crowns us with His kindnesses, and granteth us His peace.

"Unto himself, our wandering feet, we pray that He may draw,
And may we strive, with faithful hearts, to keep His holy law!"

His simple words in silence died: a moment's hush. And then
From all the listening hearts there rose a solemn-voiced Amen !

From Grand'ther's Baldwin's Thanksgiving, by Horatio Algier, Jr.

For me, I prefer to read ," Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving ", by Louise May Alcott.I had forgotten how much I enjoyed having "Little Women" read to me when I was young. It is a charming time of a rural life long past. When the men are obsessing over the football game, why not have someone read a little of Louise May Alcott story to the children.

I shall be thinking of you.


At 10:50 p.m., Blogger KGMom said...

We are currently in Pittsburgh, PA with our son.
Thanksgiving is such a delightful holiday--no other obligation than being with family and friends.

At 11:56 a.m., Blogger Mary said...


What a lovely Thanksgiving post in tribute to American Thanksgiving. Loved the poem...I haven't read it for years and years.

Hope all is well with you, my friend.


At 12:03 p.m., Blogger Mary said...

PS. My sincere condolences to you and June on Dave's passing.

At 12:30 a.m., Blogger Rachel said...

Very nice reading! I had a nice Thanksgiving at my nephew's home with family. I have much to be thankful for!

I do hope you are/were able to work out your romantic getaway okay! My fingers are crossed for you!!!

At 8:51 p.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

Thanks for your kind wishes. I spent a very quiet time with my two boys and then a loud and merry time at the local AA club where family and friends gathered for a "Gratitude Meeting" and loads of food brought by all of us.

At 12:02 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you have copy writer for so good articles? If so please give me contacts, because this really rocks! :)


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